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Being outside

If you're anxious or feeling low, it can be really easy to slowly spend more and more time indoors and at home. We’ve all been there! Some people find the simple act of forcing yourself to get out of the house, whether to a café to people watch or to the park for a walk, can be a good way to change up your mental state by changing the environment you’re in.

If this is something you really struggle with and it feels like a big step, why not just try to get to the end of your road or give yourself a set amount of time, such as 5 minutes, to stay outside? It may feel tricky, but you may also find that once you’ve made that first step of getting out the house, the times goes by without too much effort.

I spend so much time worrying what I’ll do when out of the house, what I’ll think about and what I’ll say if there’s someone with me. It can get to the point I have panic attacks and dread it. But usually once I’m actually out those things aren’t a problem and it helps me take my mind off of things.

Have you tried photography? This can be a fun, safe way to get out of the house as you only need to go as far as you’re comfortable. Why not take a few snaps and send them our way and we'll feature them on this page:

What young people have told us:

'It helped me focus on the things around me and to be more mindful.' 

'I found being outside in the fresh air really freeing.   I listen to music and i just go for a walk around the block or a park.   It's very nice to just for a little bit not really think of anything.'

'Being inside can give a feeling of confinement. Going outside can give the opposite feeling. When you're outside there are things to do. things to view. which may take your mind of the stress.'

'Being outside really helps give your mind a break. Also it helps to wake me up and re-charge my mind. Taking photos further let me stop stressing about what was on my mind and focus on a different and creative task.'


Your photos

  • Walking in the countryside around Bath - Libby

  • View from Lake Buttermere - Charlotte

  • Urquhart Castle, Scotland - Ruaraidh

  • View from Hackney overground line - Matt

There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.

Did this activity help your mental wellbeing?

If yes, why do you think it helped?

What would you say to other young people who are thinking of trying this?